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Policy support, funding to fuel tech consumption

By SHI JING in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2021-03-30 09:14
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Consumers visit the booth of Meitu Inc at the 2nd Digital China Summit& Exhibition in Fuzhou, Fujian province. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]

Efforts to promote new types of consumption will pick up momentum this year as the number of supportive measures of the central government will likely increase, said experts.

Zi Meng, chief retail industry analyst at Guotai Junan Securities, said technologies, products and services relating to 5G, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and the internet of things best define new types of consumption, spawned by the new round of industrial revolution.

Together with 27 other departments, the National Development and Reform Commission recently released an action plan aiming to nurture new types of consumption at a faster pace.

The 24 detailed policies have attached great importance to social financing, which includes initial public offerings, refinancing, corporate bonds, convertible bonds and asset-backed securities.

Private equity and venture capital firms should play a bigger role in supporting new types of consumption, the action plan stated.

The central government has resolved to help develop new types of consumption in China, which is evident from the number of guidelines and regulations released over the past few months.

The 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) passed by the National People's Congress in early March has highlighted the development of new types of consumption.

In late September, the State Council released a guideline which is designed to drive the growth of new types of consumption via new business models and patterns.

The guideline also pointed out that investment and financing channels should be expanded for the novel consumption businesses.

Under the circumstances, quality of traditional products will be improved, content consumption will become more common, demand for services will rise, and consumption scenarios will be enriched.

Technology-focused ChiNext at the Shenzhen bourse, which mainly serves growth enterprises, will support the integration of traditional industries, new technologies and business models, said Zhang Lichao, senior analyst of Guosen Securities.

As such, the ChiNext board will be appealing to new consumption companies that are characterized by the combination of digitalization and consumption.

Data from Chuancai Securities showed that new consumption companies managed to receive over 400 billion yuan ($61 billion) in financing via IPOs or refinancing in 2020, up 50 percent from a year earlier.

Chen Li, chief economist of Chuancai Securities, said various financing channels provided by the capital market have accelerated the development of companies specializing in new forms of consumption businesses.

IPOs, corporate bonds, convertible bonds, or listing on the National Equities Exchange and Quotations are all possible options of raising funds. PE and VC firms have also funded such companies.

According to Shanghai-based market tracker Wind Info, the total value of IPOs and refinancing relating to new consumption companies exceeded 96.8 billion yuan by March 26 this year, up 36 percent year-on-year.

Tian Lihui, director of the Institute of Finance and Development at Nankai University, said companies specializing in new types of consumption businesses usually require large amount of investment at early stage to finesse their technologies and seek market share.

From this perspective, PE firms' funding, IPOs and secondary floats can prove very useful. With help from the capital market, new consumption companies can grow into a new engine of China's economic development, he said.

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